He has done it again. Bo Burham has given us another hit special that allows us to laugh and cry all in the same ten minutes. The last week and a half have been full of talk over his new Netflix special and the influence of his comedic acts in the past. Bo Burnham has found a way to bridge the gap between his musical and comedic talents over the years and create incredibly unique and entertaining specials, and this might be his best one yet.
Bo has been performing this way since he was 16, beginning with small clips on YouTube. He was slowly growing his fan base until he was able to tour and perform these daunting songs for thousands of people. His past Netflix specials ‘What’ and ‘Make Happy’ were both live recordings of his standup shows and became incredibly popular with younger generations. He is known for dropping bombshells and criticizing society in ways many comedians won’t all while singing in an upbeat tone. Although he has received criticism over the years for some of his content, there is no doubt he is uniquely talented.
Bo spent five years taking a break from his comedy shows after going through intense drawbacks in his mental health, finding it hard to perform on stage. In January of 2020, he decided it was time to go back, and then the world fell apart. His mental health began deteriorating once again, along with the rest of the world, and he decided that he would get through it by doing what he already planned to do. This special is incredibly unique because it is entirely created within his house by himself, a stark difference from his usual theatrical stand-up performances.
‘Inside’ is a lot, to say the most. It’s a very honest glimpse at the mental health issues many comedians suffer from, while still holding onto that lighthearted humor Bo is known for. Songs range from ridiculous and hilarious to deep and emotional, he made sure to give it all to us. Fans have found how relatable and real this special was and have clung to that feeling. They have been boosting the views on Netflix, creating tons of viral TikTok audios from it, and streaming the recorded version nonstop on Spotify and Apple Music. He once again found a way to leave us speechless after years of his silence.
Arguments have been thrown around about which song is the best, ( and it’s ‘Welcome to the Internet’ BTW) but not enough people have talked about the talent shown in this special. He is, of course, clever and funny, but his musical talents have exceeded anything we saw before. His vocals and songwriting abilities amazed me more and more as the special went on, without even recognizing his talent as a pianist. Through the years his voice has grown, and he has gained more confidence, producing these hilarious songs that honestly are also pretty to listen to.
We all felt COVID hard, the isolation and uncertainty took a deafening toll on everyone, but specials like this one remind us why art is so important. It has brought light on the reality of depression and mental health, but also a reminder that sometimes those difficulties produce some pretty amazing things. COVID gave artists the space to reevaluate their work and produce new and exciting things unlike anything they have ever done before, and if that is all we can gain from that year in isolation I’d say it’s still a lot.
I could go on and on about this special and the significance of what he said within it, but instead, I urge you guys to carve out that hour and 27 minutes and watch it for yourselves. And then maybe 3 more hours to watch his other specials, because they deserve the same appreciation. Putting the existential crisis and tears produced from the special aside, Bo has created his best work so far and I can’t wait to see what he makes next.
Or maybe I can for the sake of my mental health.